I think it’s pretty easy to fall into a mindset that puts us at the center of life. After all, by the very nature of perspective, things are viewed in terms of where we stand . . . encountered in the context of what we have experienced . . . processed against the body of knowledge we have acquired. I’m just thinking that it’s kind of natural to see the universe as it relates to me rather than see me as it relates to the ways of this universe. Reading in Job this morning kind of upset that all too natural apple cart . . . shifted the paradigm . . . put me, as it were, in my place. And it’s left me wondering at the fringes . . . and desiring the fullness.
He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing. He binds up the waters in His thick clouds, and the cloud is not split open under them. He covers the face of the full moon and spreads over it His cloud. He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness. The pillars of heaven tremble and are astounded at His rebuke. By His power He stilled the sea; by His understanding He shattered Rahab. By His wind the heavens were made fair: His hand pierced the fleeing serpent. Behold, these are but the outskirts of His ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand? (Job 26:7-14 ESV)
Behold the outskirts of His ways . . . the NKJV says that “Indeed these are the mere edges” . . . the NLT, “just the beginning of all He does” . . . the NIV and NASB translates it as “the fringes.” And when I remove myself from the center . . . and realize I am but on the outskirts . . . I wonder at the fringes . . . and I desire the fullness.
I don’t know exactly how Job knows all he knows . . . given that he lived in “ancient times” without all the scientific breakthroughs we know today (or, are they just repeat breakthroughs?) . . . but there’s some pretty sophisticated understanding of creation’s marvelous structure. Job knows that God stretches the northern sky over a vast empty space . . . and that He hangs the earth on nothing . . . that clouds are filled with water yet do not break under the weight of it (Job never lived in Seattle) . . . that there’s a circular horizon over the water, at the place where light meets darkness (doesn’t sound like Job thought the world was flat). Job recognizes that God stirs up the sea . . . breaks up the storm . . . and dresses up the heavens. Wow!
What we see of God . . . what we understand to be true of God . . . what the Spirit has made known to us concerning the Person and work of God . . . they are just the beginning . . . a mere whisper. Or, to coin a less eloquent phrase, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”
Yes, I have been born into this world. Yes, by the grace of God and through the finished work of the cross, I have been born again into His kingdom. Yes, I abide in Christ and Christ lives in me through the Holy Spirit. Yes, I have access into the very holy presence of God through the blood of Christ. But as much as all this is . . . I can’t help but think I ain’t seen nothn’ yet.
What has been revealed is only the tip of the iceberg. To think that what I know of God is to fully know Him, is to not know Him at all. It’s but a taste . . . a teaser of things yet to come. Far from satisfying my hunger it should inflame a desire for more. While His living water quenches my thirst, it should leave such a taste as to want to seek out the Source of such a life-giving flow in all its fullness.
The marvels of Creation . . . the wonders of salvation . . . the on-going work of sanctification . . . all of it should prime the pump of wanting the realities of a deeper relationship with Him who we have but encountered a whisper of. He, whose power is beyond understanding, is not beyond pursuing.
O’, that I would not be satisfied with just the mere edges . . . that the outskirts would not be enough to satisfy my longing. But that I would worship at the extremities and press on after the essence . . . that I would wonder at the fringes and desire the fullness.
Praise God for the mere edges . . . but I ain’t seen nothin’ yet . . . can’t wait to know Him more.
. . . by His grace . . . for His glory!